Are you a recruitable student-athlete?
Every college coach seeks different qualities or attributes in their recruits whether it be athletic, academic, or a specific psychological attribute. These characteristics vary from coach to coach depending on the sport, the school, the division, or the conference they compete in. In most cases, college coaches look at four attributes of a prospective student-athlete.
Each coach will value each attributes differently. Are you interested in an Ivy League education then the college coaches will look at your academic profile before anything else. As you continue with the recruiting process with a coach they will evaluate all four of these attributes.
What is your GPA? What is the difficulty of the classes you are taking? Have you taken the SAT’s or ACT’s yet? Do you have the academic profile to succeed at the schools you are interested in? As a prospective student-athlete you have to do your own research regarding the academic standards necessary to be accepted and to succeed in college.
The academic quality of a student-athlete is extremely important in the recruitment process.
Paul Royal, Head Women’s Soccer Coach at LaSalle University says, “if a player is academically sound their options are limitless, academically, financially, and geographically when they go to choose a school.”
College coaches aren’t necessarily looking for A students all the time but they need to see that a student has great work ethic and pride in their academics. If a student shows that academics are a priority, college coaches will feel more comfortable recruiting them to be a part of their program.
The athletic attributes of a prospective student-athlete plays an integral role in the recruiting process. The Athletic aspect of recruiting can usually be broken down into 3 segments.
- Technical/Skill Set
- Tactics, Knowledge, and/or Strategy
- Athleticism or Physical Attributes
Whether it is sport specific, physical characteristics, or athleticism, college coaches tend to have certain needs for their programs. Do you possess the skills required to compete at that level. Are you a student of your sport? Are you constantly trying to improve as a player and to increase your knowledge of your sport. What other athletic or physical characteristics do you possess? Do you have blazing speed, can you jump out of the gym, or do you have super strength? What every recruit must understand is that a coaches’ evaluation of you is subjective. It is not relevant what your coaches or parents say, it is up to the college coach to determine if you are the “right fit” for their program. There are certain sports where statistics will tell the story of a prospective student-athlete’s ability. Are you a track star in the 100 M dash? Your time will be the deciding factor on whether you can make an impact for that program. Are you a golfer? It’s straight forward, what is your average scores? In sports like these that your times and scores will determine if you can meet the athletic standards a coach is looking for. However for many programs, its the academic and psychological attributes that coaches will look at first.
Attitude is how you carry yourself on and off the field. The attitude of a prospective student-athlete is one of the most important aspects of the college recruiting process.
Jamion Christian, Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Mount St. Mary’s University, believes “psychological and emotional toughness are extremely important when trying to evaluate potential student-athletes. The sooner that a coach can understand the mental make-up of a player the sooner they will be able to coach them into becoming the best version of themselves as a person.”
When a coach decides to evaluate a player they are watching them both on and off the field, how do they interact with coaches, teammates, officials, and even their parents before and after the game. It’s important to understand that college coaches are watching you all of the time and not just when you are in between the lines. Another aspect of psychological attributes is how a prospective student-athlete handles pressure, success and failure.
Lindsey Munday, Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at USC thinks “that a players mindset is what makes them successful at the next level. There will be ups and downs, what will a player do when their back is against the wall? Will they quit? Will they give up? Or will they buckle down and do whatever it takes to improve. Mindset is a skill and can be worked on and I look for that in my recruits.
Lastly, and probably the most important is a prospective student-athlete’s character. “College coaches recruit character.” Character is something that can make or break your chance to receive an athletic scholarship. In the world of social media, college coaches have easy access to your character. How you represent yourself and your team online is very important to a college coach. Because how you represent yourself online is most likely very similar to how you act in real life. There are many stories of prospective student-athletes or current student-athletes losing scholarships or being kicked off teams because of something they posted or tweeted. Be very careful of what you post or tweet. Avoid controversial topics like politics, race, religion, sexual orientation. Try to keep things positive.
As you go through the process remember, as much as coaches are recruiting you, you need to recruit them as well. Do your research. You are the only one who knows what the best fit is for you. Select the school that is right for you, its not always about the money. Your goal is to get the best education to prepare yourself for a successful future. As a prospective student-athlete the more boxes you check the better opportunities you will have to be a recruited student-athlete.
Are you interested in learning more about the 4 attributes college coaches look at and discover the 50 Questions you should answer before committing to a school. Pick up your copy of the College Recruiting Playbook Today
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In 2015, the College Recruiting Playbook was published to help educate prospective student-athletes about the college recruiting process. The College Recruiting Playbook is a student-athletes workbook to finding the right college to fit their academic, athletic, and personal needs.
Finding the right college for your student-athlete doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with College Recruiting Playbook, you can navigate the five phases of the recruiting process with surprising ease.
3. Gaining Exposure
4. Decision Making
5. Beyond the Decision
This step-by-step guide walks parents and students through everything they need to know and do in order to find the best college athletically, academically, and personally.
Discover the answers to these questions and much more
- What does it take to play at the next level?
- What are the academic requirements to play in college?
- What are the differences between DI, DII, DIII, and NAIA?
- What do college coaches look for in prospective student-athletes?
- What are the Three Key Elements of Gaining Exposure ?
- What is a verbal commitment? What is a National Letter of Intent?
- What are the 50 questions every prospective student-athlete should answer before committing to a school?
- And much more
Written especially for high school athletes, this guide is also an essential read for parents, teachers, and coaches. By utilizing the included organizer and looking at the process from more than an athlete’s point of view, you can form the best strategy for your young athlete’s near and distant future.